Re: MDC tank conversion

John Stutz


I believe this COLX is tank just a fairly common type of small standard gauge tank car, as built by several sources circa 1900-1915, running on narrow gauge trucks. Which is exactly what the "Gramps" UTLX tanks were. The Car Builder's Dictionary or Cyclopedia editions for this time frame are available online, and will show typical brake arrangements. Kaminski's book on AC&F tank cars shows a dozen or more of such box center sill and high running board tank cars, albeit mostly of larger capacity.

This very narrow frame center anchored design, with low running boards and more substantial end platforms, as specified by the MCB standards of circa 1917, was the most common design for North American tank cars through the 1960s. But on the narrow gauge, those who made the early conversions apparently believed it necessary to lower the center of gravity as far as possible. Hence the UTLX "narrow frame" and CONX "wide frame" cars, which carry the tank shell just clear of the draft gear. This may have been based on experiences such as resulted in Bob Grandt's photograph. Later someone found that the small 6000 gallon Van Dyke frameless cars could be operated with essentially no modification. During WW II the USN bought AC&F standard 6000 gallon tanks for Hawaiian 3' gauge operation, where they apparently worked quite well Two of these ended up as White Pass #38 & 39, operating until that road closed in 1982.

John Stutz

On August 28, 2020 at 12:59 PM "Robert Veefkind via" <snookdust@...> wrote:

Hello Gang     still plugging along trying to make a decent representation of COLX cars shown in Grandts pictorial. The very narrow frame doesn't leave much room for brake rigging and the photos don't show much of the underbody. Any ideas ? Cutting the MDC frames down was lots of time and zamac chips ,so two is enough. I understand these were later numbered for UTLX but did those very narrow frames survive as is?
Bob Veefkind


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